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A new study from the University of Sydney in Australia finds that high levels of physical activity do not compensate for the detrimental effect of poor diet on mortality risk.

The work, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that participants who engaged in high levels of physical activity and ate a quality diet had the lowest risk of death, indicating that there was no way to \”escape\” from the bad. Is. Diet. ,

Quality food and a high level of activity

Researchers examined the independent and combined effects of diet and physical activity on all-cause mortality, heart disease and cancer using a large sample (360,600) of British adults from the British Biobank.

The high-quality diet included at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, two servings of fish per week, and low consumption of red meat, especially processed meats.

The study found that people who were active and ate a good diet had the worst diet and an increased risk of all-cause mortality (19%) from heart disease and 27% from certain cancers, compared to those who were physically inactive. was 17% lower.

“Both regular physical activity and a healthy diet play an important role in promoting health and longevity. Some may think that they can compensate for the effects of poor nutrition with a high level of exercise or with a high-quality diet. Less physical activity may compensate for the effects, but evidence suggests that unfortunately is not, said lead author Melody Dean, associate professor at the Charles Perkins Center and the University of Sydney School of Medicine and Health.

\”Getting a quality diet and enough physical activity is critical to reducing the risk of all-cause death, heart disease, and cancer,\” says co-author Joe Van Buskerk.

long term effects

A small number of studies have previously shown that high-intensity exercise can counteract harmful physiological responses to overfeeding.

However, the long-term effects of the interaction between diet and physical activity remain poorly understood. The results of this study confirm the importance of both physical activity and diet quality in all-cause and specific-cause mortality.

“This study highlights the importance of both physical activity and nutritional quality to achieve the greatest reduction in mortality risk. Public health messages and clinical guidelines Physical activity and nutritional advice to promote healthy longevity The focus should be on advocating for both,\” Ding said.

Ding D, van Buskirk J, Nguyen B et al. Physical activity, nutritional quality and mortality from all cardiovascular diseases and cancer: a prospective study of 346,627 UK Biobank participants. British Journal of Sports Medicine First published online: July 10, 2022 doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105195

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